When you have an ailing loved one, it can feel like the whole world is suddenly put on your shoulders. You become their helper, caregiver, confidant. As your parent ages, you might even begin to brush off some of the early signs of dementia. But they might need dementia treatment sooner than you think.

Though the symptoms vary between individuals, here are some of the early symptoms of dementia to watch out for as your loved one ages.

Short-term memory loss

This might start as small lapses in memory. These can be as minute as forgetting a simple word or phrase; the word is on the tip of their tongue, but they just can’t seem to pinpoint it. They may compensate for this lapse by using a synonym.

Forgetting names is a bigger indicator that your loved one may be suffering from dementia or the early stages of Alzheimers disease. They may also forget important appointments, get lost more easily, and eventually forget to perform regular tasks like driving or cooking.

Changes in behavior

Because dementia affects the brain, your loved one’s personality may also begin to change. They may be frustrated when they can’t remember a word or get irritated when they miss an appointment. However, larger changes in mood and behavior are indicative of dementia. If your loved one is usually sociable but suddenly displays introverted behaviors, this is a shift in behavior. The opposite is also true; introverted people may suddenly become outgoing. Depression is also a signifier of dementia, along with mood swings and apathy.

Decline in functioning

This connects to memory lapses, but basic functioning may also decline. Established routines are hard to follow but they may also struggle to adapt to change or complete tasks fully. Complex tasks, like balancing a checkbook, becomes a mountain. Shaving can be dangerous. They might not be able to follow storylines. These are just some of the symptoms of early dementia.

Dementia is a common illness, especially as a person grows older. In fact, the majority of people who suffer from dementia and Alzheimers disease are over 65, but many others can experience early-onset Alzheimers at a younger age.

If you have a loved one displaying symptoms of dementia, the best thing you can do is take them to a dementia treatment facility. Specialized caregivers will ensure all of your loved ones needs are taken care of in their retirement. You don’t have to go it alone. Call Heritage Hills today for more information about dementia treatment and mental health.